Oxygen and differentiation status modulate the effect of X-ray irradiation on physiology and mitochondrial proteome of human neuroblastoma cells

Cytotoxic effects, including oxidative stress, of low linear energy transfer (LET)-ionizing radiation are often underestimated and studies of their mechanisms using cell culture models are widely conducted with cells cultivated at atmospheric oxygen that does not match its physiological levels in body tissues. Also, cell differentiation status plays a role in the outcome of experiments. We compared effects of 2 Gy X-ray irradiation on the physiology and mitochondrial proteome of nondifferentiated and human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells treated with retinoic acid cultivated at 21% and 5% O2. Irradiation did not affect the amount of subunits of OxPhos complexes and other non-OxPhos mitochondrial proteins, except for heat shock protein 70, which was increased depending on oxygen level and differentiation status. These two factors were proven to modulate mitochondrial membrane potential and the bioenergetic status of cells. We suggest, moreover, that oxygen plays a role in the differentiation of human SH-SY5Y cells.